Bakers scores second Arqiva deal in a week

Baker & McKenzie has secured its second contract this week for communications company Arqiva, advising on a deal with Digital 3 and 4.

As reported on www.thelawyer.com (7 August), Bakers commercial partner Duncan Reid-Thomas led a team advising the company on a £500m contract to design, build and operate a national digital terrestrial TV network for ITV-owned subsidiary SDN.

The team has now negotiated a similar contract with Digital 3 and 4, which owns the channels operated by ITV and Channel 4. As with the SDN deal, the contract, which is worth around £1bn, will run until 2034.

Arqiva has been signed up by the channels to prepare them for the national switchover to digital television, which will begin later this year and continue to be rolled out across the UK until 2012. Baker & McKenzie previously acted for Arqiva in its contract negotiations to supply digital transmission for the BBC.

Reid-Thomas said the negotiations were similar to those for SDN with the exception that, SDN’s digital coverage will reach 90 per cent of the population while Digital 3 and 4’s will cover 98.5 per cent.

Digital 3 and 4 was advised by Goodman Derrick media partner Paul Herbert.